Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Monday, August 1, 2016

To sleep, perchance to dream

So, last night I dreamt that I met up with my friend Rob, whom I have known since sixth grade but haven't seen for over twenty years, although we stay in touch in the intertubes.  We were waiting for the express bus from Brooklyn into Manhattan, and while we were waiting I was telling Rob about two dreams that I had had. The first was a recurring dream I was having about forgetting to implement a whole new program or course at school, something having to do with maritime work; the other was another work dream, about someone from another department asking about some computer procedures in my office, which was confusing because the person asking had as much or more computer access than my admin and should have been able to do all that and more. After I told Rob about the dreams, we got on the bus, which was huge, like twenty feet across, with a full three-person token booth in the front. Rob hightailed it somewhere into the recesses of the bus as I fumbled with the fare machine, trying to get it to take a ripped twenty-dollar bill.


Anyway, the dream is not all that hard to interpret: Rob often blogs about his commute, so the appearance of the bus is no surprise; the forgetting-the-program dream is just the dean equivalent of the showing-up-for-the-final-of-a-class-you-forgot-to-attend-all-quarter dream (and I am launching a  new program right now); and the computer stuff probably reflects some issues we have been having over dividing administrative responsibilities for new program.

No, the noteworthy thing about this dream is that the dreams I was telling Rob about in the dream are actually dreams I have had on other nights. So dream-Walter was telling dream-Rob about real dreams real-Walter had had, not dream-dreams that dream-Walter had had. I am quite sure this is the first time my dreams have ever been cross-referenced. I have had repeated dreams, similar dreams, and even sequels to dreams, but never once have had a dream called out in another.

Spooky.

What's even spookier is that I used the word twenty three times in the first paragraph without even knowing it. That's gotta be some kind of sign...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

TANSTAAFL

So, I got this very elaborate marketing deal in the mail the other day, advertising a pop-up car sale in the parking lot of the local mall.


Nice plastic case, elaborate graphics, real key inside - this was the deluxe package.

The main draw was a sweepstakes with a chance to win a new car.


The key itself actually did nothing besides attract attention, which was a disappointment. There was a number printed on the cardboard under it, and that was the critical element. The fine print said there was a one in ninety thousand chance of my number being the winner. Not that I want a Ford Mustang.

Of course, there was another, smaller contest to entice the reader - the chance to win cheap, expensive, or more expensive headphones.


But look at those odds: a 99.99% chance of winning the expensive headphones! All I had to do was scratch!


Of course, I did. And to no one's surprise, I won!

Now, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, and I learned pretty young the taste of bitter disappointment when a prize turned out to be a crappy come-on, so I didn't really give much thought to this - I mean, who even says the retail price of these earbuds was $99, anyway? I don't even need any more earbuds. Not worth the drive to even check it out.

As it happens, our errands for the day happened to take  Coco and I past the parking lot where this even was being held, and my initial suspicions were confirmed by two observations:
  1. There was a single, narrow drive-in entrance to the event which allowed for some intense traffic control on the inside: e.g., it looked like once inside, one could have a hard time leaving.
  2. There was a group of people with picket signs protesting high-pressure sales tactics.
I was half-tempted to park elsewhere, walk in, and demand my free earbuds just to see what would happen, but only for a second. The day was too beautiful and I have lived long enough to learn that the most successful way to deal with annoyances of this nature is to disengage from them, not try to beat them.

Just drive on by, and go home and blog about it.

One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand there, you're going to wind up with an ear full of cider.